Kindergarten teacher saves choking student - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Kindergarten teacher saves choking student

. - CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - A day that started out like any other in Sheila Richardson's kindergarten class could have ended in heartbreak and tragedy. But quick-thinking saved a child's life.

Richardson teaches at Conway Elementary School. 

Two weeks ago, she chose quiet Morgan Murphy to be the “star student of the week.”

Part of the prize is a front row seat in the classroom. The star student is interviewed by other students in the class, and also receives a piece of candy candy in class.

"She was in front of the class in the rocking chair and I was sitting beside her and we were writing a story about Morgan," explained Richardson. 

But then, Richardson said, the classroom intern noticed Murphy's face had changed.  "And she said, I think she's choking. And at that point, I look at Morgan and she's… her face is red, and kind of turning blue."

Morgan stood up and grabbed her neck. In that split second, Richardson immediately took life-saving action.

"Jumped up," said Richardson. "Asked my assistant to call the nurse. And then, I did the Heimlich maneuver on Morgan about three times. And then the candy came out."

Murphy's mother says Richardson saved her daughter's life.

"Was it kind of scary?" Richardson asked Murphy in class on Tuesday. "Yeah... scary for me, too."

The moments that followed were a blur.  "I think I hugged Morgan, and asked if she was okay. And we both cried. And then I think it was all okay, wasn't it?"

Richardson says she's not a hero. 

"It was almost like you just do what you think you should do. And, um, I don't think I necessarily knew what to do. I think that maybe God just took over and kind of did what he thought I should do," she admitted.

She said her students are like her children, and though she doesn't choose favorites, "Well she's a special little girl anyways. And, I guess we have a little bit of a closer bond now."

Mrs. Richardson said her actions that day were just part of being a teacher. She has to have a fast reaction to anything.

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